And it's effects on the environment
What we recycle
Our society recycles many things, like metals, paper, glass, plastics, batteries and more. However, Americans only recycle a small proportion of our trash that we produce, only about 30 percent of it gets recycled or reused, the rest is disposed of by incinerators, which generate air pollution, put in a landfill which takes up space and creates pollution, or dumped into water which harms the animals and makes the water polluted.
How much we recycle
Of the trash America produces, we recycle...
- 63% of recyclable paper
- 49% of recyclable aluminum
- 20% of recyclable glass
- 5% of recyclable plastic
The rest of the recyclable waste has to be disposed of, and all forms of disposal create problems for the local environments, and creates problems for the people living there as well.
Methods of disposal of non recycled waste
As seen above, we do recycle a fair portion of trash, especially considering some of our trash is not able to be recycled, such as paper, which can only be recycled so many times before the fibers get weakened, but a fair portion is incinerated, or combusted, for energy, which generates a large amount of air pollution, such as carbon and toxins, and 50% is put in landfills, which can poison groundwater if precautions aren't put into place.
Benefits of recycling
Recycling prevents pollution to the environment, saves energy, and in the case of wood or paper products, lowers the amount of deforestation, which protects environments and the creatures in them from being uprooted from their home. Recycling old materials also tends to cost less then gathering those resources in other ways, such as mining metals or drilling for oils to make plastic.